Arthur Butz

Arthur R. Butz is an associate professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University and a Holocaust denier best known as the author of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. He achieved tenure in 1974 and currently teaches classes in control system theory and digital signal processing.

Arthur Butz
New York City, New York, U.S.
NationalityUnited States
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
InstitutionsNorthwestern University

Education and careerEdit

Butz attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from which he received both his Bachelor of Science and, in 1956, his Master of Science degrees. In 1965, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.[1] His doctoral dissertation considered a problem in control engineering.

Butz invented the algorithm which bears his name and was published in 1969.[2] It provided a means for computing Hilbert's space-filling curve. This algorithm advanced certain computer search techniques and has certain other applications. Butz is the author of numerous technical papers.[3]

Holocaust denialEdit

In 1976, Butz published The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, which argues that the Holocaust was a propaganda hoax.[4][5] From 1980 to 2001, Butz was on the editorial board of the Journal of Historical Review, a publication of the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust-denying organisation.[6]

Faculty reactionEdit

Butz's Holocaust denial sparked an outrage among the Northwestern University's faculty and community, after the existence of the book was disclosed by The Daily Northwestern in 1977.[7] His views were also criticized by Robert H. Strotz, Northwestern University's then-president at the time of the book's publication.[8] In 1997, Butz drew further criticism after using the university's Internet domain to publish his views.[9]

In 2006, sixty of Butz's colleagues from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty signed a censure describing Butz's Holocaust denial as "an affront to our humanity and our standards as scholars".[10] The letter also called for Butz to "leave our Department and our University and stop trading on our reputation for academic excellence."[10]

University President Henry Bienen issued a statement condemning Butz' Holocaust denial, but noted that tenure and academic freedom protected Butz from dismissal as he had kept his denialism separate from his work as an instructor.[11]


According to the Anti-Defamation League, "some Holocaust deniers argue that Butz's book has never been refuted by mainstream scholars, but in fact many of his arguments were thoroughly debunked" in books by Deborah Lipstadt (Denying the Holocaust, 1993), John C. Zimmerman (Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies, 2000) and online web sites such as Nizkor Project and[6]

Removal from Amazon.comEdit

In 2017, removed the book along with other Holocaust-denying books from its US and UK sites. The ban of the books was requested by the director of Yad Vashem, Robert Rozett, who sent an email to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos directly.[12][13][14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "He still teaches, students still squirm". Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  2. ^ A. R. Butz, Convergence with Hilbert's space filling curve, J. Comput. Sys. Sci., vol. 3, May 1969, pp 128-146.
  3. ^ "Google scholar search for Arthur R. Butz".
  4. ^ Geri Yonover (2000). "Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the academy : a tort remedy". In DeCoste, F. C.; Schwartz, Bernard (eds.). The Holocaust's Ghost: Writings on Art, Politics, Law, and Education. University of Alberta Press. p. 329. ISBN 978-0888643377. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  5. ^ Noami Schaefer Riley, The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For, Lanham, Maryland: Ivan R. Dee, 2011, p. 33
  6. ^ a b "Arthur Butz" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. December 1, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2018.
  7. ^ King, Seth S. (January 28, 1977). "Professor Causes Furor by Saying Nazi Slaying of Jews Is a Myth". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Northwestern University President Strongly Deplores Book by Butz". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. March 8, 1977.
  9. ^ Mendels, Pamela (January 10, 1997). "Professor Puts Holocaust Theories Online, Prompting Accusations at Northwestern". The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b Elizabeth, Campbell (February 17, 2006). "Students, faculty oppose Butz with petitions". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  11. ^ "Statement Regarding Associate Professor Arthur Butz". February 6, 2006. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Amazon UK Removes 3 Holocaust Denial Books from Sale". The Times of Israel. March 9, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Ziv, Stav (June 6, 2017). "Under pressure, Amazon stops selling Holocaust-denial books". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved June 17, 2017.

External linksEdit